Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Social Protection Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has told the Minister Joan Burton that she misunderstands her own tendering plan for the JobPath initiative.
Speaking in the Dáil today, Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
“I support the work of the Local Employment Services and the Intreo offices and you clearly misunderstand your own tender process because the Local Employment Services will simply not be able to operate on the basis of payment on results. This goes against their current funding model and is incompatible with the reality of the people the LES's work with many of whom requires significant input and time before they are job ready."
He also called on her to halt the tender process and said:
"Minister, like most of your voters, I am ideologically opposed to the privatisation of social protection services and the evidence from overseas proves that outsourcing schemes similar to JobPath have been an expensive disaster for the state, for those furthest from the labour market and for the existing not-for-profit activation infrastructure.
“For many reasons I am asking you to halt the tender process but in the time allocated I will focus on the impact on the existing community-based activation infrastructure.
“Minister are you aware of the concerns that are widespread across Local Development Companies, Partnerships, LESs and Job Clubs, all of which currently have a community focus and social ethos, that they will be forced to compete with each other and become subcontractors to profit-focused Multi-National Corporations or face extinction once JobPath gets underway?
“You have claimed that your intention is for JobPath to complement the existing services. But you have failed to outline clearly your intentions with regard to the future role of those services and the JobPath scheme itself assigns their very client base to the private providers.”